Computer turtles less gnarly than originals

Shredder is dead, the Foot Clan is now hired mercenaries, April O’Neal and Casey Jones have moved in together and the turtles are falling apart.

“TMNT” brings back lean green fighting machines Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

With Shredder gone, there is a new evil in New York City: Max Winter, voiced by Patrick Stewart. The tech-industrialist is trying to bring back an army of warriors from 3,000 years ago to take over the world.

If that wasn’t enough, Leonardo has disappeared. He was sent away by Master Splinter for training to become a better ninja but has been long overdue. With the oldest turtle gone and no one to look over the brothers, each of them is doing whatever he can to maintain.

Michelangelo is a pizza delivery mascot. He is more than a hit at kids’ birthday parties. Donatello is a telephone computer assistant trying to maintain his sanity with the random callers he encounters. But Raphael cannot leave the night life alone. He is the Nightwatcher, a vigilante trying to keep the streets of New York safe, and the main turtle taking Leo’s disappearance the hardest.

As you can see the gang is all here, but despite a few throwback memories, the movie doesn’t satisfy, mainly because it’s not real. The entire movie is CGI. For those old enough to remember the green suits and costumes, “TMNT” is a little disappointing. The fight scenes aren’t engaging because they are all computer graphics and not actors in costumes doing the flips, kicks and swordplay.

But there are advantages with the use of this technique. The speed of the movie went back and forth between lightning-fast action scenes and slow motion scenes. The fight scenes are much quicker and the ability to display a number of intense angles adds more flare.

“TMNT” attempts to revive the heroes in a half shell and does a good job. The turtles themselves are unchanged. Raphael still has the same quick temper and fighting attitude, Donatello is still a genius and Michelangelo still loves pizza and tells corny jokes that cause a few laughs here and there.

But old heads may be disappointed not to hear Vanilla Ice’s “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!”

Though the computer graphics will take some getting used to, a guest appearance hinted to a sequel will have me purchasing a ticket for TMNT 2.